Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas came early!

So Christmas came early here for The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County. Well Christmas dinner did, that is! Today was the big day, the day I'd been dreading for months. I had to cook for my in-laws. Any of you who have in-laws KNOW that the first meal you cook for them is always one that is full of stress and unease and just plain ol' doubt!

I'm not even going to lie, I haven't slept in a few days because I've been dreading this meal. It's not their company that I dread, it's my culinary talents...or lack there of. Can you believe it? Something has brought The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County to his knees! I was full of doubt the last few days. After I made this meal for my friends, Mike was mysteriously sick the next day. The first thing that went through my mind was FOOD POISONING!!! Thankfully it was just the flu! Well not thankfully for Michael...but I was happy that it wasn't my food that made him sick! Nothing says "I'm happy to be a part of this family, thanks for sharing our first married Christmas together," like food poisoning!

So I got out of bed this morning at around 7 AM. I was awake though most of the night, worried that things wouldn't turn out. So I woke up and got dressed and went out to the car, only to find it COVERED in thick frost! So I had to wait about 10 minutes while the frost broke down enough so I could wipe it off. Then I headed to Safeway. Now as we all know I'm not too keen on Seattle. However, that being said, this morning while I was driving up the Speedway the moon was nothing more than a sliver and it was sitting high above the Cascades. At the same time the sun was making its way up, but the only thing above the mountains was the purple and pink colors being forced up; and Mt. Rainier was MASSIVE! Even though it's about 2 hour south of Mukilteo, it seemed like it was just at the end of the Speedway. THIS is my favorite thing about living up here in Mukilteo. There are mornings that are so crisp and gorgeous that NO camera can truly capture their beauty.

Well all that aside, I made it to Safeway, and they had NOTHING I wanted/needed. So I made my way to Alberstons. And thankfully they had everything on my list. Then it was back to the house to get things ready. The first thing I did was make the pie crust for my Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie. Once that was done I was ready to clean my bathroom and then start chopping veggies for the stuffing and the bottom of the pan underneath the Pork Crown Roast.

I have to say I was pretty excited about making this Pork Crown Roast again, and if you have the chance...DO IT! It is so delicious! But just watch the time, if you have a convection oven it cooks quicker. :) I was on a roll this morning, let me tell you!

Hello homemade pie crust!
Can you say, Mise en place!
I chopped up three Spanish onions, a bulb of fennel, 8 cloves of garlic, 6 ribs of celery and then shelled and chopped 8 ounce of chestnuts. Seriously, chestnuts...what a PAIN IN THE ASS! But they are delicious in this pear and chestnut stuffing! So I was very prepared for this meal, unlike last time! :) So it made things a TON easier and things just seemed flow. Making the stuffing took the longest, and it gave me a chance to kind of breathe, since I had all the things chopped and ready to go. But once thing got rolling I had to get the pork ready and painted with the sage/rosemary/garlic/olive oil rub and tied up and ready to receive the stuffing.

Ready for its crown of stuffing! :)
Mmmmmm, pear and chestnut stuffing!
Once the roast went in the oven it was smooth sailing, culinary wise, for me. Mike's parents arrived and we sat around and talked. But I had to excuse myself to make the Kabocha Squash, Haricot Verts and Oyster Mushrooms. I had to prep everything and get it ready to roast in the oven. Mike was nice and took the boys for a walk, his parents joined them, so I could finish getting dinner ready. They were gone the perfect amount of time!

When they got back, the pork had come out of the oven and was resting peacefully letting the juices redistribute throughout the roast. I could NOT wait to cut into it to see how it turned out!

Needless to say, the meal turned out amazing! Mike's parents enjoyed the food and even though I was really stressed most of the time, I enjoyed the day. Making food for someone you love is something that will ALWAYS stress me out and make me feel so rewarded all in same breath. We shared an amazing meal, and had great conversations. I sent them home with a boat load of left overs and smiles.

Happy Holidays!

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